Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Prince! Hassouni! Tejero! Remy! Angelito! Sanniez! Bordes! Zarak!

MD: Unfortunately, this has more audio issues, but you can watch it without problem with headphones, only using your left earbud and not the right. It's a good week of matches though, so tough it out.

Kader Hassouni/Petit Prince vs. Anton Tejero/Bob Remy 1/7/77

MD: This one is for some cup and well worth watching. Tejero's one of the best bases and bumpers in the footage so having him paired up against Petit Prince is pretty special. Hassouni was slick as could be and Remy was a meat and potatoes slugger bad guy so all of the pieces were right here.

Structurally, this is probably the most perfect tag in the set. Yes, there are some Blousons Noirs (and others) matches with more (or longer) heat, but this was balanced just right for the style and had, finally and I don't say this lightly, the hot tag we've been waiting on for so long. It gets around 35 minutes with the first 15-20 the wrestling we'd expect from these guys, lots of holds and escapes and the stylists looking great at the expense of the heels. The heat really kicks in with Hassouni getting knocked to the floor, with the crowd moving to help him but he ultimately unable to make it back in. From there, even after a tag to Prince, they really dig in, distracting the ref, laying in mean shots, and ultimately getting the ringpost guards off to the point where Prince gives us that rare, rare French Catch blood.

This segment isn't long, but between the blood, Prince's selling, and the fact that they cut off the tag a couple of times, including one where the ref misses it, it really ramps things up so that when Prince monkey flips both heels and bounds back for the tag, the place comes unglued. Hassouni makes quick work of them on the comeback to take the second fall and the third, as you'd expect, is all celebratory stooging double teams to the crowd's delight. This is the style but it's got incredible talents with great personalities and is tightened up to make things mean even more than usual. If you've been following these tags at all, you should put on some headphones, listen with one ear, and watch this one.

Angelito vs. Albert Sanniez (JIP) 2/19/77

MD: We get the last ten minutes of this and it's just wild action. Stylist vs stylist. Juniors. They just really go at it. Counters to counters, big shots, huge spots. Some fun parallel stuff (be it both guys going for a drop down at the same time or later on when Sanniez hits a press slam into a gut buster and Angelito follows with a fireman's carry into one). Sanniez is smoother but Angelito is pretty imaginative. The thing is, Sanniez has to take all of this stuff and make it look good! The absolute craziest thing is a sunset flip bomb off the apron by Angelito to Sanniez. In 1977. Just nuts. Sanniez hits a bomb later in the ring, which I don't think we've seen too much in a while. They're working towards the draw, but they're working exceptionally hard. Sanniez looks like an all-timer here and in a vacuum this is probably some of the most action-packed ten minutes of footage in the whole set. 

Walter Bordes vs. Zarak 3/12/77

MD: Sorry guys, switch to the right earbud on this one until around the 15:30 mark and then go left. Anyway, Bordes had an absolutely undeniable connection with the crowd. It may have been inherited but you watch a match like this, you see him get fiery and just take one swipe at an opponent, not even landing, and you hear the crowd start singing Mamadou and it's beyond doubt. They go even more nuts with the singing when he tosses out Zarak later. He knew it, knew how to play into it, and here, he had an opponent who understood it just as well, for Zarak was our old friend Batman, David Smith-Larsen.

Larsen, here wrestled completely differently but with the same sort of theatricality he brought to Batman. Here he was a strutting, masked strong man with big power moves and mean clubbering blows. He overpowered Bordes' early attempts but ultimately got outwrestled, the first fifteen minutes or so being very entertaining along these lines. Eventually though, Bordes missed a top rope headbutt (or splash) and Zarak really took over with huge power moves, a press slam into a gut buster, a fireman's carry into a slam, Quasimodo's tombstone position press up move. Ultimately, he catapulted Bordes out and forced him to take some really nasty bumps to the outside. But Bordes was a hero true and he came back and tried for pin after pin after pin as the clock ticked down. This was probably the best push to a draw that we've seen, really gripping stuff with Bordes trying everything and Zarak slipping out again and again. It's not the best match we've seen but it truly felt iconic and really gives you a sense of the skill, flash, and attitude of mid 70s French Catch.

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